I don’t think that Jon Stewart or Sephen Colbert are particularly funny. I mean, I suppose that they are funny in a very pragmatic way: their jokes are not wrought with allusions and references that fly over the heads of high school seniors; I guess that that’s where their drawing power arises. Their jokes are blatant and relatively direct; easily digestable, but obviously not challenging to viewers or to those whom they satarize.
And what about Doonesbury? Doonesbury is very very dry, but at least Trudeau, pushes sometimes.
But, Monty Python illustrated absurdity brilliantly in their sketches, by creating a synthesis between blatant direct humor with intertext and allusion. I particularly enjoy feeling like I’m not smart enough or well read enough to completely get a joke, which results ultimately in my reading or google-searching until I do ‘get it.’